Articles in Category: MMA

Did MMA take over the popularity that Boxing has lost?

on Saturday, 12 December 2015. Posted in Back Sport s Page Question Of The Day!, Other , MMA

Back Sports Page Question of The Day 12/12

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Did MMA take over the popularity that Boxing has lost?

Every Week Back Sports Page asks Five Questions to staff and experts. The questions and answers are posted throughout this week on This week we put the focus around the world of sports!! Check out BSP for this week’s questions

This week we have multiple Back Sports Page Contributors to give their insights to our questions.  

Back Sports Page Question of the Day 11/24

on Tuesday, 24 November 2015. Posted in Back Sport s Page Question Of The Day!, MMA

Are you interested in watching Ronda Rousey chase Holly Holms for the title?

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Back Sports Page Question of the Day 11/24

Every Week Back Sports Page asks Five Questions to staff and experts. The questions and answers are posted throughout this week on This week we put the focus around the NFL!! Check out BSP Wednesday through Sunday for this week’s questions

This week we have multiple Back Sports Page Contributors to give their insights to our questions.  

Leonard Garcia is the Wrong Fighter.

on Wednesday, 09 January 2013. Posted in MMA

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Leonard Garcia is the Wrong Fighter.

There you are settled into your nice cozy bar stool or recliner, beer in hand, awaiting the judges’ decision to a bloody brawl.  Here comes Bruce Buffer to deliver what you feel is a fairly one sided decision.  Although you have become accustomed to the questionable judging criteria in MMA, you are confident that a  one-sided drubbing will be decided correctly.



Combat Night 7

Written by S. Robert Sacco on Thursday, 13 December 2012. Posted in MMA

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Combat Night 7

Most amateur MMA shows fall short in one or several categories which make a fight card successful but Combat Night 7 was a pleasant exception. The importance of atmosphere is often overlooked by promoters who opt for venues too large for the drawing power of the fight card. What I found at Combat Night 7 was a room, not unlike a set from Joel Schumacher’s Batman and Robin, packed wall-to-wall with screaming fight fans, teammates, friends, and family. The fighters were mostly well-matched. The skill level displayed was consistent with most amateur shows; however, there were three fighters who stood above the rest: Clay Haywood, Kyle Jacobs, and Elwil Acevedo displayed veteran guile and deft submissions. Kyle, in particular, was impressive throwing his opponent close to the minute mark of the first round and locked up a kimura from side mount about 10 seconds later. Clay Haywood attempted a number of submissions before locking in a rear naked choke late in the second round. Elwil Acevedo plowed through his opponent with a double leg take down right out of the gate and slapped on a key lock, ending the match early in the first.                            


Been a bit bored with the recent UFC cards?

Written by Coach Rich Ruenzi on Tuesday, 27 November 2012. Posted in MMA

All good things to those who wait.

Let’s face it, for even the most ardent and enthusiastic UFC fan, the past six months have been brutal. And I’m not referring to the type of brutal that MMA fans are looking for. Over the past six months, the only big UFC PPV main event that had us salivating and counting down the days was Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen II. And if we’re going to be completely honest with ourselves, only the newer fans of the sport or those who buy into the trash-talking were doing proverbial backflips over this match-up. For the rest of us who have been around the UFC/MMA block a few times, we knew this was a hopeless mismatch and that Sonnen had little chance of winning.

Looking back through May, the UFC has offered little in the way of Main Event fights that capture the imagination. Nor have these fights caused us to rush to read up on MMA news, research the fighters’ records, scrutinize their wins and losses, or even log onto an internet forum to argue with a complete stranger over why our guy is going to beat their guy.

Since May, there have been four title fights in the UFC. Apart from the aforementioned Silva/Sonnen fight, the lead-up to these fights failed to generate the excitement most have grown to expect from UFC Main Events. The Benson Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar title fight didn’t build a great amount of anticipation, as the two had recently fought to a decision. Additionally, this was yet another consecutive rematch for the Lightweight title. Considering the depth of the UFC’s LW roster of talent, many fans wanted to see different contenders challenging for the title in hopes of clearing the log-jam at the top of the division. The recent title challenges for both the Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight titles offered replacement fighters: Vitor Belfort stepped in for injured Dan Henderson and Frank Mir stepped in after Alistair Overeem was suspended for a failed drug test. Fans seemed excited and enthusiastic about both Henderson and Overeem challenging for the title in their respective divisions. They were far less enthused by the replacement match-ups offered instead.

Granted, there were a few fights worth watching. Most devoted MMA fans wanted to see newcomers Stephan Struve and Stipe Miocic fight. Many of us were also interested in the Jon Fitch/Erick Silva match-up. There was the match-up between Mark Munoz (who would have been the man to challenge Anderson Silva’s reign had it not been for injury) and the undefeated Chris Weidman. During this time, iconic fighter Rich Franklin took on two different legends in Wanderlei Silva and Cung Le. And, of course, there was even one of those interim titles on the line between Urijah Faber and Renan Barao. The problem is that none of these match-ups can carry a big UFC event. At least not in the manner that we’ve grown accustomed to. As it applies to PPV events, these fights aren’t “Main Events”. These are the fights that are second, third, or even fourth on what most of us would deem a ‘can’t miss’ fight card.

All in all, it’s been a tough patch for UFC fans to go through. And it isn’t fair to lay the blame at the feet of the UFC. Dana White didn’t tell a whole host of elite level fighters to get injured. Joe Silva didn’t encourage Alistair Overeem and Nick Diaz to fail drug tests. Lorenzo Fertita didn’t ask Carlos Condit and Renan Barao to refuse to defend their interim titles and sit out waiting for the real champion to return from injuries. The UFC did all they could to find the best fighters and match-ups available. The problem is that these replacement fights and fighters failed to create the same level of enthusiasm and intrigue as those originally scheduled.

During this time, Strikeforce and Bellator haven’t really stepped up and filled the void, either. But that’s okay. Patience is a virtue and all good things come to those who wait. And boy, are there some good things coming right around the corner!

Starting this Saturday at UFC 154, our long wait will be over as Georges St-Pierre has recovered from knee surgery and will be putting his title on the line against the consensus number one ranked Welterweight and Interim Champion Carlos Condit. The Co-Main Event features a true pick ‘em battle between Johny Hendricks and Martin Kampmann with the winner earning the next crack at the Welterweight title.

Following that, The UFC on Fox has a stacked fight card. The Main Card features MMA legends and former UFC champions BJ Penn and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua facing raising stars Rory MacDonald and Alexander Gustafsson, respectively. The evening is capped off with a title fight between Lightweight champion Benson Henderson and the number one contender Nate Diaz. What’s better than a star-powered fight card with elite fighters fighting in relevant fights along with a title bout? How about all of those things on free network TV! That’s right, MMA fans—you won’t be expected to shell out 45 bucks to watch this one! It’s been said that if something happens once it could be a fluke, but if it happens twice it’s a pattern. This is the second UFC title fight on free network television. Let’s all hope this is truly a pattern.

In the coming months, Heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos will put his title on the line against Cain Velasqeuz, which many of us (including myself) believe could become MMA’s version of Ali/Frazier. Highly-ranked pound for pound fighter and Featherweight champion Jose Aldo puts his title on the line against former Lightweight champion Frankie Edgar. Both Alistair Overeem and Nick Diaz are nearing the end of their suspensions. And dare we dream about the possibilities of a super fight between Anderson Silva and either Georges St-Pierre or Jon Jones?

This has been a bumpy road and true test for MMA fans. But for those of you who have toughed it out, a tip of the hat to you! You’re about to be rewarded for your patience; things are about to get really interesting again.

Journal Entry 2

Written by S. Robert Sacco on Tuesday, 09 October 2012. Posted in MMA

Two bad tastes, that taste bad together.

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Journal Entry 2

Every once in a while, a genuine life-improving opportunity presents itself.  Most of the time, this requires a drastic change, which can be daunting because it tends to challenge long-held assumptions about ourselves. Once these vanish, we are left with a clear-eyed but uneasy sense of who we are. It is the moment when we see our deepest flaws most visibly. For me, this opportunity comes in the form of a 90 day fitness challenge. Ideally, this will get me in shape for a fight which I plan on taking later this year. 

As you might expect, training for a fight requires complex decisions with many variables. To be honest, this process could be as easy as showing up to practice and doing what I am told. But that would go against my core belief that I can produce a desired effect by my own actions, which are reinforced by experience, trial and error, and calculated experimentation. That is not a problem in itself but being successful requires the support of coaches, sparring partners, friends and family. If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes at least that many people to make a fighter. I think you see a dichotomy forming and a major flaw revealed.  I am stubborn and fiercely independent, learning lessons the hard way, usually more than once. Even as child I loved my own counsel best, much to the consternation of my parents and teachers. Facing that aspect, though, will be less difficult than facing the one which has been an albatross around my neck (for most of my adult life). I have always hated cardio with a passion rivaled only by my love of food.

The frustration of relinquishing control over my diet and exercise can only be explained thusly: Imagine, if you will, a moonlit night on which I am running from a leopard, a lion and a she-wolf only to stumble upon my coach in a dark wood. He promises to lead me on a journey through hell, each circle more terrifying than the last. Unlike Dante, I would look on all of the damned and see only myself slaving away on various cardio machines while my tormenters feasted on General Tso Chicken: A harsh punishment for my sins. Like Dante, my path to paradise is paved with drastic change. 

Order Up! Saturday Night at the UFC!

on Thursday, 20 September 2012. Posted in MMA

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Order Up!  Saturday Night at the UFC!

Imagine this scenario for just a minute.

There are several restaurants in town, but only one that serves quality food--White’s Steakhouse and Seafood. Sure, the price of this establishment is directly correlated with the incomparable product, but that does not deter you from your loyal patronage. Like anyone, you’re careful with your money and where you choose to spend your time. White’s is your place of choice. You walk in, sit down and tell the waiter you’d like a porterhouse cooked medium and a lobster tail. You’re salivating and ready to down the meal you’ve thought about all week.

MMA Roundtable: The Sequel

Written by Coach Rich Ruenzi, S. Robert Sacco on Wednesday, 19 September 2012. Posted in MMA

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MMA Roundtable:  The Sequel

Welcome to the return of the MMA roundtable for  S. Robert Sacco (SRS), Coach Rich Ruenzi (CRR) and Marcus Mitchell (MM) discuss some of the more pressing MMA issues.   

A Cage of One’s Own

Written by S. Robert Sacco on Monday, 10 September 2012. Posted in MMA

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A Cage of One’s Own

Virginia Woolf once stated, “Anything may happen when womanhood has ceased to be a protected occupation.”


Time has proven her right. That “anything” now includes many things with the exception of a few taboos which are hard to shake. (I will spare you the history lesson.) Whether females should fight in a cage, or on the front lines for that matter, is still a hotly debated topic. Fortunately for women everywhere, detractors are losing ground in that fight with every passing event.

Putting UFC 151 into Perspective

Written by Coach Rich Ruenzi on Saturday, 25 August 2012. Posted in MMA

Cooler Heads Need to Prevail

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Putting UFC 151 into Perspective

On Thursday August 23rd, in an unprecedented move, the UFC officially announced it was canceling UFC 151 “Jones vs Henderson”. Originally, Jon “Bones” Jones, the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, was slated to face former Pride and Strikeforce Champion Dan Henderson. However, eight days before the scheduled event, Henderson was forced to scratch due to a knee injury.


In a desperate attempt to save the card, the UFC offered the fight to everyone’s favorite bad guy, former middleweight contender, Chael Sonnen. Sonnen immediately accepted the fight but surprisingly Jones ultimately declined.


This series of events has triggered an absolute firestorm of reactions and over-reactions.

Journal Entry 1: Hope and Fear

Written by S. Robert Sacco on Wednesday, 22 August 2012. Posted in MMA

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Journal Entry 1: Hope and Fear

My goal for this journal is to chronicle my experiences before, up to and after a mixed martial arts fight. Win or lose I intend to share all of my hopes, fears, thoughts, revelations and everything in between.




Kenny Florian: A True Student of the Game

on Tuesday, 13 March 2012. Posted in MMA

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Kenny Florian: A True Student of the Game

Kenny Florian is known throughout the Mixed Martial Arts world for his phenomenal endurance, skin-splitting elbows, and eloquent commentary. He is regarded as one of the best competitors to ever fight in the lightweight division of the UFC.  However, if you ask Florian, the fame and fortune are just a bonus.  His proudest accomplishment is opening his own gym and helping others to realize their potential in the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

PPV: Helping or Hurting the UFC?

Written by Coach Rich Ruenzi on Friday, 09 March 2012. Posted in Other , MMA

Is the UFC's current distribution model creating more fans than it is driving away?

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PPV:  Helping or Hurting the UFC?

 In several interviews of late, UFC President Dana White has made claims predicting that within ten years, the UFC will be as popular as the NFL and even World Cup soccer. It’s hard to find fault with his reasoning. As Mr. White claims, fighting is something we just “get” at a base level. A knockout or a submission isn’t as hard to explain as say, offsides is in soccer or an illegal pick in football.

Consistently Inconsistent: MMA Referees

on Monday, 06 February 2012. Posted in MMA

A Trip to the Optometrist

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Consistently Inconsistent: MMA Referees
Any referee will tell you that they would prefer you not know their name. It’s better for the referee if we don’t know he’s there until he is stopping a fight or raising a fighter’s hand. Unlike other sports, MMA referees are few and far between. After a small number of events, you can’t help but begin to be familiar with their faces. A ref’s name, however, does not become recognizable until you have a mistake to attach it to. And while it’s clear that every referee is different, aren’t they all paid to do the job the same way?

Defending Lay and Pray

on Friday, 20 January 2012. Posted in MMA

Ultimate Hugging Championship

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Defending Lay and Pray
You’ve been an MMA fan for a while now, but it’s a fairly new sport.  Most people you know refer to the sport as UFC. Whenever someone mentions MMA, you can’t help joining the conversation, hoping it might go somewhere.  It never does though. You feel yourself immediately take over the conversation with your vast knowledge and know you’ve ruined a discussion you weren’t supposed to be a part of.  After all, it’s only 2007 and the sport is young.  Jon Fitch finished four out of his last five opponents and is on a 14 fight win streak and the brink of a title shot.  Matt Serra just shocked the world and knocked out the elusive and dominant Canadian welterweight champion.